Aotearoa Safaris operates in King Country on the North Island. They are situated near the headwaters of the Whanganui River, and their block comprises some spectacular alpine and forest scenery. Aotearoa is an indigenous Maori word meaning land of the long white cloud, though it is not clouds but dormant volcanoes that catch the eye in this stunning part of the North Island. There is Mount Tongarairo, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu. Just over the hill from them is the huge volcanic crater known as Lake Taupo, a prodigious rainbow trout fishery. The region is seeped in Maori history. Over a century ago, it was the base of the strong, indigenous Kingite movement that opposed British encroachment and fought for Maori sovereignty and land. This resistance effort turned out to be a good thing for red deer in the future, as the region was not de-forested and cleared like so many European-owned landholdings. Also, animals there were managed rather than eradicated.
This area was host to some of the initial red deer liberations in New Zealand, and its deer history dates back to 1919. The early stock was sourced from the now famous English Parks of Windsor, Warnham and Invermark. Aotearoa's hunting area encompasses some 5,000 acres that butt against a huge watershed of forest behind the property. The terrain is a mixture of rolling hill country, open grasslands and clearings and steep river valleys with vegetation consisting of a multitude of native plants. Under the canopy, the forest is open, well tracked and full of birds, including wood pigeons, tui, tomtits, lorikeets, magpies and even the rare blue duck.
The grassy areas on the hunting block are........(continued)